Medical scientists define Testosterone as a steroid hormone from a class of male-hormones called androgen and is found in birds, reptiles, mammals, and other vertebrates. In the case of mammals, testicles of males and even ovaries and adrenal glands of females primarily produce Testosterone; although research has shown that the total Testosterone levels in females are about a tenth of the levels secreted by men. Despite the fact that the testes secrete the above hormone, the production is actually controlled by the hypothalamus of the brain and pituitary glands as well.
Functions of Testosterone
As stated earlier in the definition section, Testosterone is mainly secreted by male testes, and it plays a key role in the development and growth of male reproductive systems, organs, and tissues such as prostate and testis as well as enhancing sexual characteristics such as increased bone mass, muscles mass and strength, and the development of facial and body hair. Other vital functions of the above hormone include the following:
· It is essential for overall health and well-being of the body
· It prevents development of osteoporosis
· Enhances the development of secondary sexual characteristics at puberty, which include deepening of the male voice, and so on
· It plays a vital role in sperm production
· It stimulates and maintains sexual function
· It helps the body to carry out fat distribution function
Normal Levels of Testosterone
As stated in the definition section, the levels of Testosterone in an adult male are about ten times higher as compared to an adult female. Nevertheless, just like the blood pressure or cholesterol levels, research has shown that there is a numerical range under which the Testosterone levels must be within to be considered as a normal level. Indeed, it is the testicles and the brain that works together to keep the levels in the required range; when the Testosterone levels are below the normal range, the brain sends some nerve signals to the testicles to produce more. Similarly, when levels exceed the normal range, the same process repeats itself, but this time round, the testicles are instructed to secrete less.
Effects of High Testosterone Levels
Medical research has shown that Testosterone levels above the normal range contributes to irregular menstrual cycles in women, can lead to an increase in body acne and hair, even excessive voice deepening. In the worst-case conditions, it can cause infertility in both men and women.
Effects of Low Testosterone Levels
It has been known that the levels of Testosterone decrease naturally as age increases. In addition, low levels of testosterone have been known to be varying wildly depending on the time of day. For instance, when measured in the evening, it is found to be below the normal range. People with low levels of the above hormone have been complaining of reduced energies and low sex drive.
If one has been suffering from high, low, or testosterone deficiencies, treatment has to be diversified to restore it to the normal levels. Nowadays, testosterone treatment is available in many hospitals and clinics. However, one of the side effects of testosterone treatment is of course, low sperm count.
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